Page 12 of 12 FirstFirst ... 289101112
Results 441 to 476 of 476

Thread: great paragraphs from what you're reading

  1. #441
    thework.com Kalinoche the Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    currently belgium
    Posts
    3,286
    Mentioned
    202 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    As I studied Jason, I knew that to reach him I wouldn’t use the language of feelings; I would use a language more comfortable and familiar to someone in the military. I would give orders. I sensed that the only hope for unlocking him was to get the blood moving through his body.
    “We’re going for a walk,” I said. I didn’t ask. I gave the command. “Captain, we will take Tess to the park—now.”
    Jason looked panicked for a moment. Here was a woman, a stranger, talking in a thick Hungarian accent, telling him what to do. I could see him looking around, wondering, “How can I get out of here?” But he was a good soldier. He stood up.
    “Yes, ma’am,” he said. “Yes, ma’am.”
    honest labor needs no master

    Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.

    Επί πάντων μέμνησο τα έσχατά σου, και ου μη αμαρτήσης

  2. #442
    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Gamma SF
    Posts
    14,901
    Mentioned
    825 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)

    Default

    I dunno if anyone else would care about this, but it heavily affected me unexpectedly.


  3. #443
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Ars Poetica
    How to Fake Poetry (A Guide for Nonpoets) by Philip Nikolayev


    so perilously close
    to each other these words
    so close that the sharp edges
    can cause them to
    bleed here and there
    and into the heart
    of the human body
    of the human body of suffering
    and experience
    so close to each other so connected
    with every nerve of the body
    love does not come everyday
    but sometimes even the flowers know
    creatures that they are of nature
    and as days melt
    to wine-colored ambers
    the flora overcomes in the dusk
    its timidity and starts twining its tendrils
    petals and hummingbirds
    shyly at first
    into the softly spoken words
    of a language and through them
    into the living nerves of the body

  4. #444
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Sad Foresight

    by Philip Nikolayev

    You thought the postmodernist deconstruction
    of reason by methods of critical garbage chat
    was no big deal, a progressive development
    or perhaps a harmless academic occupation?
    Political correctness has focused on many valid issues
    of justice (women’s rights, gay rights, minority rights,
    equality of opportunity, the list goes on). Unfortunately,
    it has also replaced thinking and truth with itself
    as the driving standard of progressive discourse.
    Previously, it was possible to achieve social progress
    without having to rely on armies of
    logically damaged talking robots. Today
    it is impossible. Today, buying into wholesale
    prepackaged political worldviews is the social default,
    and any antiquated discerning curmudgeon still capable
    of nuanced observation, of fine distinctions,
    or indeed of proceeding from premises to conclusions,
    is flagged as suspect, lacking credibility, a neo-Nazi.
    Outside of hard science and engineering,
    reason no longer carries any authority
    and is violently rejected by most interested parties.
    There are hollow twittering sockpuppets all along
    every network of life. Because if the meme
    is right and there is nothing outside the text
    and if everything is merely and always about text,
    about what’s going on in text, then power
    is sliced in favor of whoever generates
    the most text, the most viral text, the most
    textual virus. Any transformation of society’s
    fundamental values and power structures
    inevitably brings about a gigantic power grab,
    and a power grab is by its definition shameless,
    ignoble, it relies on the implicit (complicit) tacit
    acceptance that the will to power is OK,
    is the norm, nothing to apologize about.
    It is what the cool, the smart, do. I remember
    coming to these transatlantic shores in the 90s,
    roaming the H university campus (I dabbled
    in the humanities back then) and thinking
    naďf Russki poet thoughts like “With all these
    lunatic, increasingly shrill, iconoclastically incoherent,
    postlogocentric discourses devoid of love and understanding
    and with all these brazen nitwit careerisms
    that are pervading office and academia and shaping
    countless young minds never exposed
    to deep selfless reasoning, how exactly are they hoping,
    these professors and these students,
    that things will not get thoroughly fucked
    on a global scale and fast, should they succeed
    in their project of banishing reason?”
    And soon enough they succeed, and things were fucked.


    http://www.thecafereview.com/summer-...jD3swagdufvV-8

  5. #445
    Dauphin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    North Carolina
    TIM
    EIE
    Posts
    886
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    "When I see the blindness and the wretchedness of man, when I regard the whole silent universe, and man without light, left to himself, and, as it were, lost in this corner of the universe, without knowing who has put him there, what he has come to do, what will become of him at death, and incapable of all knowledge, I become terrified, like a man who should be carried in his sleep to a dreadful desert island, and should awake without knowing where he is, and without means of escape. And thereupon I wonder how people in a condition so wretched do not fall into despair. I see other persons around me of a like nature. I ask them if they are better informed than I am. They tell me that they are not. And thereupon these wretched and lost beings, having looked around them, and seen some pleasing objects, have given and attached themselves to them. For my own part, I have not been able to attach myself to them, and, considering how strongly it appears that there is something else than what I see, I have examined whether this God has not left some sign of Himself.I see many contradictory religions, and consequently all false save one. Each wants to be believed on its own authority, and threatens unbelievers. I do not therefore believe them. Every one can say this; every one can call himself a prophet. But I see that Christian religion wherein prophecies are fulfilled; and that is what every one cannot do." - Blaise Pascal

  6. #446
    2real Remiel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Can'-Ka No Rey
    TIM
    not like you
    Posts
    2,036
    Mentioned
    79 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    “I come in the name of Steven Deschain, he of Gilead!
    I come in the name of Gabrielle Deschain, she of Gilead!
    I come in the name of Cortland Andrus, he of Gilead!
    I come in the name of Cuthbert Allgood, he of Gilead!
    I come in the name of Alain Johns, he of Gilead!
    I come in the name of Jamie DeCurry, he of Gilead!
    I come in the name of Vannay the Wise, he of Gilead!
    I come in the name of Hax the Cook, he of Gilead!
    I come in the name of David the hawk, he of Gilead and the sky!
    I come in the name of Susan Delgado, she of Mejis!
    I come in the name of Sheemie Ruiz, he of Mejis!
    I come in the name of Pere Callahan, he of Jerusalem’s Lot, and the roads!
    I come in the name of Ted Brautigan, he of America!
    I come in the name of Dinky Earnshaw, he of America!
    I come in the name of Aunt Talitha, she of River Crossing, and will lay her cross here, as I was bid!
    I come in the name of Stephen King, he of Maine!
    I come in the name of Oy, the brave, he of Mid-World!
    I come in the name of Eddie Dean, he of New York!
    I come in the name of Susannah Dean, she of New York!
    I come in the name of Jake Chambers, he of New York, whom I call my own true son!
    I am Roland of Gilead, and I come as myself; you will open to me.”

    - Stephen King, The Dark Tower
    "The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools." ―Thucydides



  7. #447
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    An Encomium of the Drop-Knife.

    No knife is so slick,
    It is quick on its trick
    And a joy that will last you through life.
    There is none ‘neath the sun
    Just like it, not one,
    It’s the Schrade Safety Push-Button Knife.
    If the button is pressed
    The blade does the rest,
    Opens out like a thing all alive;
    You break no thumb nail
    In your efforts—that fail—
    If you’re owning this Push-Button Knife.
    It’s the handiest yet,
    It is everyone’s pet,
    And with all good knife merits it’s rife.
    Its blades are rare steel,
    And really ideal
    Is this notable Push-Button Knife.
    It’s the very quick pick
    Of club, class, and clique,
    Its equal they cannot contrive;
    It’s a true treasure trove,
    And a thing you will love
    Is this wonderful Push-Button Knife.

    A. W. BELLAW, DeGroff, Ohio

  8. #448
    thework.com Kalinoche the Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    currently belgium
    Posts
    3,286
    Mentioned
    202 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    interesting to come across Jung's stance on eastern mysticism/thought:

    'Jung says that this longing for complete simplicity can be found in any Upanishad or any discourse of the Buddha. The goal of that kind of spirituality is the extinction and dissolution of the ego: "the ego struggles for its own abolition, drowning the world of multiplicity in the All and All-Oneness of Universal Being.” Ramana was just chiming in with this melody of extinction. And the consequence of this kind of spirituality is “the depreciation and abolition of the physical and psychic man (the living body and ahamkara) in favour of the pneumatic man.”

    Jung disagrees with this acosmic kind of spirituality. He says that without the ego or ahamkara, there is nothing to register what is happening. He is not interested in this kind of spirituality:

    and

    The man who is only wise and only holy interests me about as much as the skeleton of a rare saurian” [lizard, dinosaur] [footnote in PDF below].''

    https://www.beezone.com/jung/HolyMen...eet_part1.html
    honest labor needs no master

    Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.

    Επί πάντων μέμνησο τα έσχατά σου, και ου μη αμαρτήσης

  9. #449
    2real Remiel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Can'-Ka No Rey
    TIM
    not like you
    Posts
    2,036
    Mentioned
    79 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    "Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine."

    -Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
    "The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools." ―Thucydides



  10. #450
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Vow
    BY DIANA KHOI NGUYEN

    It will be windy for a while until it isn’t. The waves will shoal. A red-legged
    cormorant will trace her double along glassy water, forgetting they are hungry.
    The sea will play this motif over and over, but there will be no preparing for it
    otherwise. Water will quiver in driftwood. Sound preceding absence,
    a white dog trailing a smaller one: ghost and noon shadow, two motes
    disappearing into surf. And when the low tide comes lapping and clear, the curled
    fronds of seaweed will furl and splay, their algal sisters brushing strands
    against sands where littleneck clams feed underwater. Light rain will fall
    and one cannot help but lean into the uncertainty of the sea. Bow: a knot
    of two loops, two loose ends, our bodies on either side of this shore where we
    will dip our hands to feel what can’t be seen. Horseshoe crabs whose blue
    blood rich in copper will reach for cover, hinged between clouds and
    sea. It will never be enough, the bull kelp like a whip coiling in tender hands,
    hands who know to take or be taken, but take nothing with them: I will marry you.
    I will marry you. So we can owe what we own to every beautiful thing.

  11. #451
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    “Dreams Are the Royal Road to the Unconscious”
    BY PAUL GOODMAN

    “Dreams Are the Royal Road to the Unconscious”
    —Freud


    The King’s Highway to the Dare-Not-Know
    —but I beg my rides and oh I know
    these boring roads where hundreds and hundreds
    of cars fade by in hundred-hundreds
    of flashing windows too bright too fast
    to see my face. I am steadfast
    long hours o’ the morning, I am so sad.
    An old-time trap, an ancient sad
    horse and his farmer stop by the way,
    they’ll take me one mile on my way
    —out of my way—is this the Way?
    I used to think I used to be happy,
    but is it possible to be happy?
    What is it like?—like Plato oh
    we’ll copy it at large and oh
    plan a city where all the distances
    (where? where?) are walking distances.



    June 1947

  12. #452
    thework.com Kalinoche the Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    currently belgium
    Posts
    3,286
    Mentioned
    202 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    ''Yet in Jesus’s model of prayer, he asks us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” A better translation of the Greek is really something like, “Don’t bring us into the trial.” This petition within the Lord’s Prayer has to do with imploring God’s mercy, not keeping us in an ivory-towered life experience.''
    honest labor needs no master

    Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.

    Επί πάντων μέμνησο τα έσχατά σου, και ου μη αμαρτήσης

  13. #453
    Tearsofaclown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    New York
    TIM
    EIE
    Posts
    449
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Free-will is thus a general cosmological theory of promise, just like the Absolute, God, Spirit or Design. Taken abstractly, no one of these terms has any inner content, none of them gives us any picture, and no one of them would retain the least pragmatic value in a world whose character was obviously perfect from the start. Elation at mere existence, pure cosmic emotion and delight, would, it seems to me, quench all interest in those speculations, if the world were nothing but a lubberland of happiness already. Our interest in religious metaphysics arises in the fact that our empirical future feels to us unsafe, and needs some higher guarantee. If the past and present were purely good, who could wish that the future might possibly not resemble them? Who could desire freewill? Who would not say, with Huxley, "let me be wound up every day like a watch, to go iight fatally, and I ask no better freedom. "Freedom' in a world already perfect could only mean freedom to be worse, and who could be so insane as to wish that? To be necessarily what it is, to be impossibly aught else, would put the last touch of perfection upon optimism's universe.

    -William James
    "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it, and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them."

  14. #454
    2real Remiel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Can'-Ka No Rey
    TIM
    not like you
    Posts
    2,036
    Mentioned
    79 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    "So I think I’m as concerned about fairness and justice as anybody. But what disgusts me even more are people who have no imagination. The kind T. S. Eliot calls hollow men. People who fill up that lack of imagination with heartless bits of straw, not even aware of what they’re doing. Callous people who throw a lot of empty words at you, trying to force you to do what you don’t want to. Like that lovely pair we just met."

    -Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
    "The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools." ―Thucydides



  15. #455
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  16. #456
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Freedom
    BY LANGSTON HUGHES


    Freedom will not come
    Today, this year
    Nor ever
    Through compromise and fear.

    I have as much right
    As the other fellow has
    To stand
    On my two feet
    And own the land.

    I tire so of hearing people say,
    Let things take their course.
    Tomorrow is another day.
    I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
    I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
    Freedom
    Is a strong seed
    Planted
    In a great need.
    I live here, too.
    I want my freedom
    Just as you.

  17. #457
    Adam Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    TIM
    ENTJ-1Te 8w7 sx/so
    Posts
    6,883
    Mentioned
    797 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    From Relativity Visualized, by Lewis C Epstein:

    In the Beginning….

    The myth can be made to suggest answers to these questions. In the beginning God created four dimensions. They were all alike and indistinguishable from each other. And then God embedded atoms of energy (photons, leptons, etc.) in the four dimensions. By virtue of their energy, these atoms moved through the four dimensions at the speed of light, the only spacetime speed.
    Thus, as perceived by any one of these atoms, space contracted in, and only in, the direction of that particular atom’s motion. As the atoms moved at the speed of light, space contracted so much in the direction of the atom’s motion that the dimension in that direction vanished. That left only three dimensions of space —all perpendicular to the atom’s direction of motion—and the ghost of the lost fourth dimension, which makes itself felt as the current of time. Now atoms moving in different directions cannot share the same directional flow of time. Each takes the particular current it perceives as the proper measure of time.


    The world we mortals measure is only the shadow, the projection, of another world—the real four-dimensional world. Moreover, if you comprehend the shape and orientation of things in the real world, it is not difficult to figure out how their shadows will seem when cast upon our world.

  18. #458
    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Gamma SF
    Posts
    14,901
    Mentioned
    825 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)

    Default

    Ahhh I feel like pumping my fist lol I've tried to say this again and again on the forum and I dunno if it's a dislike of the ideas or a poorly done attempted effort on my part to communicate something lofty that has been the reason for a primarily disdainful response. But bitches, here's Jung.


  19. #459
    Sithis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    460
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Default

    The Horse, the Wheel, and Language by David W. Anthony

    Social ties require a lot of effort to establish and maintain, especially across long distances, and people are unlikely to expend all that energy unless they think they need to. People who are self-sufficient and fairly sure of their economic future tend to maintain strong social ties with a small number of people, usually people very much like themselves. Jane Hill calls this a localist strategy. Their own language, the one they grew up with, gets them everything they need, and so they tend to speak only that language—and often only one dialect of that language. (Most college-educated North Americans fit nicely in this category.) Secure people like this tend to live in places with productive natural ecologies or at least secure access to pockets of high productivity. Nettles showed that the average size of language groups in West Africa is inversely correlated with agricultural productivity: the richer and more productive the farmland, the smaller the language territory. This is one reason why a single pan-European Proto-Indo-European language during the Neolithic is so improbable.



    But people who are moderately uncertain of their economic future, who live in less-productive territories and have to rely on multiple sources of income (like the Kachin in Burma or most middle-class families with two income earners), maintain numerous weak ties with a wider variety of people. They often learn two or more languages or dialects, because they need a wider network to feel secure. They pick up new linguistic habits very rapidly; they are innovators. In Jane Hill’s study of the Papago Indians in Arizona, she found that communities living in rich, productive environments adopted a “localist” strategy in both their language and social relations. They spoke just one homogeneous, small-territory Papago dialect. But communities living in more arid environments knew many different dialects, and combined them in a variety of nonstandard ways. They adopted a “distributed” strategy, one that distributed alliances of various kinds, linguistic and economic, across a varied social and ecological terrain. She proposed that arid, uncertain environments were natural “spread zones,” where new languages and dialects would spread quickly between communities that relied on diverse social ties and readily picked up new dialects from an assortment of people. The Eurasian steppes had earlier been described by the linguist Johanna Nichols as the prototypical linguistic spread zone; Hill explained why. Thus the association between language and ecological frontiers is not a case of language passively following culture; instead, there are independent socio-linguistic reasons why language frontiers tend to break along ecological frontiers.
    Last edited by Sithis; 12-29-2019 at 06:13 PM.

  20. #460
    Queen of the Damned Aylen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Spiritus Mundi
    TIM
    psyche 4w5 sx/sp
    Posts
    11,281
    Mentioned
    950 Post(s)
    Tagged
    42 Thread(s)

    Default

    Excerpt from, The [other] Red Book

    "1. Science is man’s shame, because it let him feel all he has lost.
    2. Speech is the sword of man.
    3. All the tears of a man would not suffice to wash him.
    4. My life in this body is my penance.
    5. I shall pray Thee while I am healthy, so that Thou will not forget me when I shall be sick.
    6. Nothing makes the soul indifferent as material prosperity.
    7. If you do good, you will gain all the knowledge.
    8. Thy Will be done, not mine.
    9. It is true that women may be virgins, and that is the torment of the fivefold point.
    10. When has a man prayed enough?
    11. 3 is to 4 as 7 is to 8. ::8::10::10:1::1:1, etc.
    12. It is much simpler to deny His principle, than to follow it: so many ungodly men just do that.
    13. All men are prophets without knowing it.
    14. All the human gatherings are useless, because they don’t have a president.
    15. Trying to catch material things is like chewing nothing.
    16. It is because of the two V that we have 5 fingers on each hand.
    17. The hope for death is the comfort of my days.

    [...]


    774. If there was something for the incorporation of man in the form, there will be something for its separation.
    775. Everything is symbol in nature, therefore the natural character shows the hieroglyph quite well.
    776. If monsters would reproduce, the eternal covenant would be variable.
    777. Weight, or fullness, is an important matter; measure is the clock; the number is fire.
    779. Without salt, the outside agents would have too much hold on the body; without oil, salt would corrode it; therefore the one and the other are in its envelop.
    780. If the upper-celestial gives too much or too little, the forms suffer: that is the general law for the terrestrial, etc.
    782. The criminal laws of Moses didn’t come from him, because there were no judges to speak them; they have been transposed by the compilers.
    784. The zephyr or sephirah, which means the “birth of the day”, always come from the East.
    785. When there will be no Sun nor Moon, we shall have our best sight.
    786. The first proof of what we have must be made on us; and who shall be the master in his home, shall be the master everywhere, as everything is ours.
    787. I repeat: there shall be any other science that will always do as much through the red, as through the white.
    788. Try that, for all your enemies, there will be nothing more respectable, and consequently more dreadful, than your presence; because that is the privilege for man that it would suffice to show himself.
    789. As we are losing ourselves practically at every step, we should have an absolution following us everywhere.
    793. The Evil seduces and enchants; the Good gives us time to reflect.
    794. The three times are and always will be universal, and that may be known in every mode and every case, the infinite.
    795. One shouldn’t ask why things are not better; the best is, but we are not part of it.
    799. May your soul rejoice when it feels you live among the verbs.
    800. If one askes what Wisdom is, you shall respond by not responding at all.


    Conclusion This book is not a book, but it contains enough to write one. Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin

    “My typology is . . . not in any sense to stick labels on people at first sight. It is not a physiognomy and not an anthropological system, but a critical psychology dealing with the organization and delimitation of psychic processes that can be shown to be typical.”​ —C.G. Jung

     



  21. #461
    Dauphin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    North Carolina
    TIM
    EIE
    Posts
    886
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    It was an high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the Stoics), that the good things which belong to prosperity are to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired. Bona rerum secundarum optabilia, adversarum mirabilia. Certainly if miracles be the command over nature, they appear most in adversity. It is yet a higher speech of his than the other (much too high for a heathen): It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god. Vere magnum, habere fragilitatem hominis, securitatem dei. This would have done better in poesy, where transcendencies are more allowed. And the poets indeed have been busy with it, for it is in effect the thing which is figured in that strange fiction of the ancient poets, which seemeth not to be without mystery; nay, and to have some approach to the state of a Christian: that Hercules, when he went to unbind Prometheus (by whom human nature is represented), sailed the length of the great ocean in an earthen pot or pitcher; lively describing Christian resolution, that saileth in the frail bark of the flesh thorough the waves of the world. But to speak in a mean. The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New,which carrieth the greater benediction and the clearer revelation of God’s favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David’s harp, you shall hear as many hearse – like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes,and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. We see in needleworks and embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground: judge therefore of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed; for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

    (Sir Francis Bacon, On Adversity)

  22. #462
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    Enlightened
    Posts
    16,739
    Mentioned
    331 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)

    Default

    ‘Hampton Court,’ said Bernard. ‘Hampton Court. This is our meeting-place. Behold the red chimneys, the square battlements of Hampton Court. The tone of my voice as I say “Hampton Court” proves that I am middle-aged. Ten years, fifteen years ago, I should have said “Hampton Court?” with interrogation — what will it be like? Will there be lakes, mazes? Or with anticipation, What is going to happen to me here? Whom shall I meet? Now, Hampton Court — Hampton Court — the words beat a gong in the space which I have so laboriously cleared with half a dozen telephone messages and post cards, give off ring after ring of sound, booming, sonorous: and pictures rise — summer afternoons, boats, old ladies holding their skirts up, one urn in winter, some daffodils in March — these all float to the top of the waters that now lie deep on every scene.

    There at the door by the Inn, our meeting-place, they are already standing — Susan, Louis, Rhoda, Jinny and Neville. They have come together already. In a moment, when I have joined them, another arrangement will form, another pattern. What now runs to waste, forming scenes profusely, will be checked, stated. I am reluctant to suffer that compulsion. Already at fifty yards distance I feel the order of my being changed. The tug of the magnet of their society tells upon me. I come nearer. They do not see me. Now Rhoda sees me, but she pretends, with her horror of the shock of meeting, that I am a stranger. Now Neville turns. Suddenly, raising my hand, saluting Neville I cry, “I too have pressed flowers between the pages of Shakespeare’s sonnets,” and am churned up. My little boat bobs unsteadily upon the chopped and tossing waves. There is no panacea (let me note) against the shock of meeting.

    ‘It is uncomfortable too, joining ragged edges, raw edges; only gradually, as we shuffle and trample into the Inn, taking coats and hats off, does meeting become agreeable. Now we assemble in the long, bare dining-room that overlooks some park, some green space still fantastically lit by the setting sun so that there is a gold bar between the trees, and sit ourselves down.’

    ‘Now sitting side by side,’ said Neville, ‘at this narrow table, now before the first emotion is worn smooth, what do we feel? Honestly now, openly and directly as befits old friends meeting with difficulty, what do we feel on meeting? Sorrow. The door will not open; he will not come. And we are laden. Being now all of us middle-aged, loads are on us. Let us put down our loads. What have you made of life, we ask, and I? You, Bernard; you, Susan; you, Jinny; and Rhoda and Louis? The lists have been posted on the doors. Before we break these rolls, and help ourselves to fish and salad, I feel in my private pocket and find my credentials — what I carry to prove my superiority. I have passed. I have papers in my private pocket that prove it. But your eyes, Susan, full of turnips and cornfields, disturb me. These papers in my private pocket — the clamour that proves that I have passed — make a faint sound like that of a man clapping in an empty field to scare away rooks. Now it has died down altogether, under Susan’s stare (the clapping, the reverberation that I have made), and I hear only the wind sweeping over the ploughed land and some bird singing — perhaps some intoxicated lark. Has the waiter heard of me, or those furtive everlasting couples, now loitering, now holding back and looking at the trees which are not yet dark enough to shelter their prostrate bodies? No; the sound of clapping has failed.

    ‘What then remains, when I cannot pull out my papers and make you believe by reading aloud my credentials that I have passed? What remains is what Susan brings to light under the acid of her green eyes, her crystal, pear-shaped eyes. There is always somebody, when we come together, and the edges of meeting are still sharp, who refuses to be submerged; whose identity therefore one wishes to make crouch beneath one’s own. For me now, it is Susan. I talk to impress Susan. Listen to me, Susan.

    ‘When someone comes in at breakfast, even the embroidered fruit on my curtain swells so that parrots can peck it; one can break it off between one’s thumb and finger. The thin, skimmed milk of early morning turns opal, blue, rose. At that hour your husband — the man who slapped his gaiters, pointing with his whip at the barren cow — grumbles. You say nothing. You see nothing. Custom blinds your eyes. At that hour your relationship is mute, null, dun-coloured. Mine at that hour is warm and various. There are no repetitions for me. Each day is dangerous. Smooth on the surface, we are all bone beneath like snakes coiling. Suppose we read The Times; suppose we argue. It is an experience. Suppose it is winter. The snow falling loads down the roof and seals us together in a red cave. The pipes have burst. We stand a yellow tin bath in the middle of the room. We rush helter-skelter for basins. Look there — it has burst again over the bookcase. We shout with laughter at the sight of ruin. Let solidity be destroyed. Let us have no possessions. Or is it summer? We may wander to a lake and watch Chinese geese waddling flat-footed to the water’s edge or see a bone-like city church with young green trembling before it. (I choose at random; I choose the obvious.) Each sight is an arabesque scrawled suddenly to illustrate some hazard and marvel of intimacy. The snow, the burst pipe, the tin bath, the Chinese goose — these are signs swung high aloft upon which, looking back, I read the character of each love; how each was different.

    ‘You meanwhile — for I want to diminish your hostility, your green eyes fixed on mine, and your shabby dress, your rough hands, and all the other emblems of your maternal splendour — have stuck like a limpet to the same rock. Yet it is true, I do not want to hurt you; only to refresh and furbish up my own belief in myself that failed at your entry. Change is no longer possible. We are committed. Before, when we met in a restaurant in London with Percival, all simmered and shook; we could have been anything. We have chosen now, or sometimes it seems the choice was made for us — a pair of tongs pinched us between the shoulders. I chose. I took the print of life not outwardly, but inwardly upon the raw, the white, the unprotected fibre. I am clouded and bruised with the print of minds and faces and things so subtle that they have smell, colour, texture, substance, but no name. I am merely “Neville” to you, who see the narrow limits of my life and the line it cannot pass. But to myself I am immeasurable; a net whose fibres pass imperceptibly beneath the world. My net is almost indistinguishable from that which it surrounds. It lifts whales — huge leviathans and white jellies, what is amorphous and wandering; I detect, I perceive. Beneath my eyes opens — a book; I see to the bottom; the heart — I see to the depths. I know what loves are trembling into fire; how jealousy shoots its green flashes hither and thither; how intricately love crosses love; love makes knots; love brutally tears them apart. I have been knotted; I have been torn apart.

    ‘But there was another glory once, when we watched for the door to open, and Percival came; when we flung ourselves unattached on the edge of a hard bench in a public room.’

    ‘There was the beech wood,’ said Susan, ‘Elvedon, and the gilt hands of the clock sparkling among the trees. The pigeons broke the leaves. The changing travelling lights wandered over me. They escaped me. Yet look, Neville, whom I discredit in order to be myself, at my hand on the table. Look at the gradations of healthy colour here on the knuckles, here on the palm. My body has been used daily, rightly, like a tool by a good workman, all over. The blade is clean, sharp, worn in the centre. (We battle together like beasts fighting in a field, like stags making their horns clash.) Seen through your pale and yielding flesh, even apples and bunches of fruit must have a filmed look as if they stood under glass. Lying deep in a chair with one person, one person only, but one person who changes, you see one inch of flesh only; its nerves, fibres, the sullen or quick flow of blood on it; but nothing entire. You do not see a house in a garden; a horse in a field; a town laid out, as you bend like an old woman straining her eyes over her darning. But I have seen life in blocks, substantial, huge; its battlements and towers, factories and gasometers; a dwelling-place made from time immemorial after an hereditary pattern. These things remain square, prominent, undissolved in my mind. I am not sinuous or suave; I sit among you abrading your softness with my hardness, quenching the silver-grey flickering moth-wing quiver of words with the green spurt of my clear eyes.

    ‘Now we have clashed our antlers. This is the necessary prelude; the salute of old friends.’

    ‘The gold has faded between the trees,’ said Rhoda, ‘and a slice of green lies behind them, elongated like the blade of a knife seen in dreams, or some tapering island on which nobody sets foot. Now the cars begin to wink and flicker, coming down the avenue. Lovers can draw into the darkness now; the boles of the trees are swollen, are obscene with lovers.’

    ‘It was different once,’ said Bernard. ‘Once we could break the current as we chose. How many telephone calls, how many post cards, are now needed to cut this hole through which we come together, united, at Hampton Court? How swift life runs from January to December! We are all swept on by the torrent of things grown so familiar that they cast no shade; we make no comparisons; think scarcely ever of I or of you; and in this unconsciousness attain the utmost freedom from friction and part the weeds that grow over the mouths of sunken channels. We have to leap like fish, high in the air, in order to catch the train from Waterloo. And however high we leap we fall back again into the stream. I shall never now take ship for the South Sea Islands. A journey to Rome is the limit of my travelling. I have sons and daughters. I am wedged into my place in the puzzle.

    ‘But it is only my body — this elderly man here whom you call Bernard — that is fixed irrevocably — so I desire to believe. I think more disinterestedly than I could when I was young and must dig furiously like a child rummaging in a bran-pie to discover my self. “Look, what is this? And this? Is this going to be a fine present? Is that all?” and so on. Now I know what the parcels hold; and do not care much. I throw my mind out in the air as a man throws seeds in great fan-flights, falling through the purple sunset, falling on the pressed and shining ploughland which is bare.

    ‘A phrase. An imperfect phrase. And what are phrases? They have left me very little to lay on the table, beside Susan’s hand; to take from my pocket, with Neville’s credentials. I am not an authority on law, or medicine, or finance. I am wrapped round with phrases, like damp straw; I glow, phosphorescent. And each of you feels when I speak, “I am lit up. I am glowing.” The little boys used to feel “That’s a good one, that’s a good one”, as the phrases bubbled up from my lips under the elm trees in the playing-fields. They too bubbled up; they also escaped with my phrases. But I pine in solitude. Solitude is my undoing.

    ‘I pass from house to house like the friars in the Middle Ages who cozened the wives and girls with beads and ballads. I am a traveller, a pedlar, paying for my lodging with a ballad; I am an indiscriminate, an easily pleased guest; often putting up in the best room in a four-poster; then lying in a barn on a haystack. I don’t mind the fleas and find no fault with silk either. I am very tolerant. I am not a moralist. I have too great a sense of the shortness of life and its temptations to rule red lines. Yet I am not so indiscriminate as you think, judging me — as you judge me — from my fluency. I have a little dagger of contempt and severity hidden up my sleeve. But I am apt to be deflected. I make stories. I twist up toys out of anything. A girl sits at a cottage door; she is waiting; for whom? Seduced, or not seduced? The headmaster sees the hole in the carpet. He sighs. His wife, drawing her fingers through the waves of her still abundant hair, reflects — et cetera. Waves of hands, hesitations at street corners, someone dropping a cigarette into the gutter — all are stories. But which is the true story? That I do not know. Hence I keep my phrases hung like clothes in a cupboard, waiting for someone to wear them. Thus waiting, thus speculating, making this note and then another, I do not cling to life. I shall be brushed like a bee from a sunflower. My philosophy, always accumulating, welling up moment by moment, runs like quicksilver a dozen ways at once. But Louis, wild-eyed but severe, in his attic, in his office, has formed unalterable conclusions upon the true nature of what is to be known.’

    ‘It breaks,’ said Louis, ‘the thread I try to spin; your laughter breaks it, your indifference, also your beauty. Jinny broke the thread when she kissed me in the garden years ago. The boasting boys mocked me at school for my Australian accent and broke it. “This is the meaning,” I say; and then start with a pang — vanity. “Listen,” I say, “to the nightingale, who sings among the trampling feet; the conquests and migrations. Believe —” and then am twitched asunder. Over broken tiles and splinters of glass I pick my way. Different lights fall, making the ordinary leopard spotted and strange. This moment of reconciliation, when we meet together united, this evening moment, with its wine and shaking leaves, and youth coming up from the river in white flannels, carrying cushions, is to me black with the shadows of dungeons and the tortures and infamies practised by man upon man. So imperfect are my senses that they never blot out with one purple the serious charge that my reason adds and adds against us, even as we sit here. What is the solution, I ask myself, and the bridge? How can I reduce these dazzling, these dancing apparitions to one line capable of linking all in one? So I ponder; and you meanwhile observe maliciously my pursed lips, my sallow cheeks and my invariable frown.

    ‘But I beg you also to notice my cane and my waistcoat. I have inherited a desk of solid mahogany in a room hung with maps. Our steamers have won an enviable reputation for their cabins replete with luxury. We supply swimming-baths and gymnasiums. I wear a white waistcoat now and consult a little book before I make an engagement.

    ‘This is the arch and ironical manner in which I hope to distract you from my shivering, my tender, and infinitely young and unprotected soul. For I am always the youngest; the most naďvely surprised; the one who runs in advance in apprehension and sympathy with discomfort or ridicule — should there be a smut on a nose, or a button undone. I suffer for all humiliations. Yet I am also ruthless, marmoreal. I do not see how you can say that it is fortunate to have lived. Your little excitements, your childish transports, when a kettle boils, when the soft air lifts Jinny’s spotted scarf and it floats web-like, are to me like silk streamers thrown in the eyes of the charging bull. I condemn you. Yet my heart yearns towards you. I would go with you through the fires of death. Yet am happiest alone. I luxuriate in gold and purple vestments. Yet I prefer a view over chimneypots; cats scraping their mangy sides upon blistered chimney-stacks; broken windows; and the hoarse clangour of bells from the steeple of some brick chapel.’

    ‘I see what is before me,’ said Jinny. ‘This scarf, these wine- coloured spots. This glass. This mustard pot. This flower. I like what one touches, what one tastes. I like rain when it has turned to snow and become palatable. And being rash, and much more courageous than you are, I do not temper my beauty with meanness lest it should scorch me. I gulp it down entire. It is made of flesh; it is made of stuff. My imagination is the body’s. Its visions are not fine-spun and white with purity like Louis’. I do not like your lean cats and your blistered chimney-pots. The scrannel beauties of your roof-tops repel me. Men and women, in uniforms, wigs and gowns, bowler hats and tennis shirts beautifully open at the neck, the infinite variety of women’s dresses (I note all clothes always) delight me. I eddy with them, in and out, in and out, into rooms, into halls, here, there, everywhere, wherever they go. This man lifts the hoof of a horse. This man shoves in and out the drawers of his private collection. I am never alone. I am attended by a regiment of my fellows. My mother must have followed the drum, my father the sea. I am like a little dog that trots down the road after the regimental band, but stops to snuff a tree-trunk, to sniff some brown stain, and suddenly careers across the street after some mongrel cur and then holds one paw up while it sniffs an entrancing whiff of meat from the butcher’s shop. My traffics have led me into strange places. Men, how many, have broken from the wall and come to me. I have only to hold my hand up. Straight as a dart they have come to the place of assignation — perhaps a chair on a balcony, perhaps a shop at a street corner. The torments, the divisions of your lives have been solved for me night after night, sometimes only by the touch of a finger under the table-cloth as we sat dining — so fluid has my body become, forming even at the touch of a finger into one full drop, which fills itself, which quivers, which flashes, which falls in ecstasy.

    ‘I have sat before a looking-glass as you sit writing, adding up figures at desks. So, before the looking-glass in the temple of my bedroom, I have judged my nose and my chin; my lips that open too wide and show too much gum. I have looked. I have noted. I have chosen what yellow or white, what shine or dullness, what loop or straightness suits. I am volatile for one, rigid for another, angular as an icicle in silver, or voluptuous as a candle flame in gold. I have run violently like a whip flung out to the extreme end of my tether. His shirt front, there in the corner, has been white; then purple; smoke and flame have wrapped us about; after a furious conflagration — yet we scarcely raised our voices, sitting on the hearth-rug, as we murmured all the secrets of our hearts as into shells so that nobody might hear in the sleeping-house, but I heard the cook stir once, and once we thought the ticking of the clock was a footfall — we have sunk to ashes, leaving no relics, no unburnt bones, no wisps of hair to be kept in lockets such as your intimacies leave behind them. Now I turn grey; now I turn gaunt; but I look at my face at midday sitting in front of the looking- glass in broad daylight, and note precisely my nose, my chin, my lips that open too wide and show too much gum. But I am not afraid.’

    ‘There were lamp-posts,’ said Rhoda, ‘and trees that had not yet shed their leaves on the way from the station. The leaves might have hidden me still. But I did not hide behind them. I walked straight up to you instead of circling round to avoid the shock of sensation as I used. But it is only that I have taught my body to do a certain trick. Inwardly I am not taught; I fear, I hate, I love, I envy and despise you, but I never join you happily. Coming up from the station, refusing to accept the shadow of the trees and the pillar-boxes, I perceived, from your coats and umbrellas, even at a distance, how you stand embedded in a substance made of repeated moments run together; are committed, have an attitude, with children, authority, fame, love, society; where I have nothing. I have no face.

    ‘Here in this dining-room you see the antlers and the tumblers; the salt-cellars; the yellow stains on the tablecloth. “Waiter!” says Bernard. “Bread!” says Susan. And the waiter comes; he brings bread. But I see the side of a cup like a mountain and only parts of antlers, and the brightness on the side of that jug like a crack in darkness with wonder and terror. Your voices sound like trees creaking in a forest. So with your faces and their prominences and hollows. How beautiful, standing at a distance immobile at midnight against the railings of some square! Behind you is a white crescent of foam, and fishermen on the verge of the world are drawing in nets and casting them. A wind ruffles the topmost leaves of primeval trees. (Yet here we sit at Hampton Court.) Parrots shrieking break the intense stillness of the jungle. (Here the trams start.) The swallow dips her wings in midnight pools. (Here we talk.) That is the circumference that I try to grasp as we sit together. Thus I must undergo the penance of Hampton Court at seven thirty precisely.

    ‘But since these rolls of bread and wine bottles are needed by me, and your faces with their hollows and prominences are beautiful, and the table-cloth and its yellow stain, far from being allowed to spread in wider and wider circles of understanding that may at last (so I dream, falling off the edge of the earth at night when my bed floats suspended) embrace the entire world, I must go through the antics of the individual. I must start when you pluck at me with your children, your poems, your chilblains or whatever it is that you do and suffer. But I am not deluded. After all these callings hither and thither, these pluckings and searchings, I shall fall alone through this thin sheet into gulfs of fire. And you will not help me. More cruel than the old torturers, you will let me fall, and will tear me to pieces when I am fallen. Yet there are moments when the walls of the mind grow thin; when nothing is unabsorbed, and I could fancy that we might blow so vast a bubble that the sun might set and rise in it and we might take the blue of midday and the black of midnight and be cast off and escape from here and now.’

    ‘Drop upon drop,’ said Bernard, ‘silence falls. It forms on the roof of the mind and falls into pools beneath. For ever alone, alone, alone — hear silence fall and sweep its rings to the farthest edges. Gorged and replete, solid with middle-aged content, I, whom loneliness destroys, let silence fall, drop by drop.

    ‘But now silence falling pits my face, wastes my nose like a snowman stood out in a yard in the rain. As silence falls I am dissolved utterly and become featureless and scarcely to be distinguished from another. It does not matter. What matters? We have dined well. The fish, the veal cutlets, the wine have blunted the sharp tooth of egotism. Anxiety is at rest. The vainest of us, Louis perhaps, does not care what people think. Neville’s tortures are at rest. Let others prosper — that is what he thinks. Susan hears the breathing of all her children safe asleep. Sleep, sleep, she murmurs. Rhoda has rocked her ships to shore. Whether they have foundered, whether they have anchored, she cares no longer. We are ready to consider any suggestion that the world may offer quite impartially. I reflect now that the earth is only a pebble flicked off accidentally from the face of the sun and that there is no life anywhere in the abysses of space.’

    ‘In this silence,’ said Susan, ‘it seems as if no leaf would ever fall, or bird fly.’

    ‘As if the miracle had happened,’ said Jinny, ‘and life were stayed here and now.’

    ‘And,’ said Rhoda, ‘we had no more to live.’

    ‘But listen,’ said Louis, ‘to the world moving through abysses of infinite space. It roars; the lighted strip of history is past and our Kings and Queens; we are gone; our civilization; the Nile; and all life. Our separate drops are dissolved; we are extinct, lost in the abysses of time, in the darkness.’

    ‘Silence falls; silence falls,’ said Bernard. ‘But now listen; tick, tick; hoot, hoot; the world has hailed us back to it. I heard for one moment the howling winds of darkness as we passed beyond life. Then tick, tick (the clock); then hoot, hoot (the cars). We are landed; we are on shore; we are sitting, six of us, at a table. It is the memory of my nose that recalls me. I rise; “Fight,” I cry, “fight!” remembering the shape of my own nose, and strike with this spoon upon this table pugnaciously.’

    ‘Oppose ourselves to this illimitable chaos,’ said Neville, ‘this formless imbecility. Making love to a nursemaid behind a tree, that soldier is more admirable than all the stars. Yet sometimes one trembling star comes in the clear sky and makes me think the world beautiful and we maggots deforming even the trees with our lust.’

    (‘Yet, Louis,’ said Rhoda, ‘how short a time silence lasts. Already they are beginning to smooth their napkins by the side of their plates. “Who comes?” says Jinny; and Neville sighs, remembering that Percival comes no more. Jinny has taken out her looking-glass. Surveying her face like an artist, she draws a powder-puff down her nose, and after one moment of deliberation has given precisely that red to the lips that the lips need. Susan, who feels scorn and fear at the sight of these preparations, fastens the top button of her coat, and unfastens it. What is she making ready for? For something, but something different.’

    ‘They are saying to themselves,’ said Louis, ‘“It is time. I am still vigorous,” they are saying. “My face shall be cut against the black of infinite space.” They do not finish their sentences. “It is time,” they keep saying. “The gardens will be shut.” And going with them, Rhoda, swept into their current, we shall perhaps drop a little behind.’

    ‘Like conspirators who have something to whisper,’ said Rhoda.)

    ‘It is true, and I know for a fact,’ said Bernard, ‘as we walk down this avenue, that a King, riding, fell over a molehill here. But how strange it seems to set against the whirling abysses of infinite space a little figure with a golden teapot on his head. Soon one recovers belief in figures: but not at once in what they put on their heads. Our English past — one inch of light. Then people put teapots on their heads and say, “I am a King!” No, I try to recover, as we walk, the sense of time, but with that streaming darkness in my eyes I have lost my grip. This Palace seems light as a cloud set for a moment on the sky. It is a trick of the mind — to put Kings on their thrones, one following another, with crowns on their heads. And we ourselves, walking six abreast, what do we oppose, with this random flicker of light in us that we call brain and feeling, how can we do battle against this flood; what has permanence? Our lives too stream away, down the unlighted avenues, past the strip of time, unidentified. Once Neville threw a poem at my head. Feeling a sudden conviction of immortality, I said, “I too know what Shakespeare knew.” But that has gone.’

    ‘Unreasonably, ridiculously,’ said Neville, ‘as we walk, time comes back. A dog does it, prancing. The machine works. Age makes hoary that gateway. Three hundred years now seem no more than a moment vanished against that dog. King William mounts his horse wearing a wig, and the court ladies sweep the turf with their embroidered panniers. I am beginning to be convinced, as we walk, that the fate of Europe is of immense importance, and, ridiculous as it still seems, that all depends upon the battle of Blenheim. Yes; I declare, as we pass through this gateway, it is the present moment; I am become a subject of King George.’

    ‘While we advance down this avenue,’ said Louis, ‘I leaning slightly upon Jinny, Bernard arm-in-arm with Neville, and Susan with her hand in mine, it is difficult not to weep, calling ourselves little children, praying that God may keep us safe while we sleep. It is sweet to sing together, clasping hands, afraid of the dark, while Miss Curry plays the harmonium.’

    ‘The iron gates have rolled back,’ said Jinny. ‘Time’s fangs have ceased their devouring. We have triumphed over the abysses of space, with rouge, with powder, with flimsy pocket-handkerchiefs.’

    ‘I grasp, I hold fast,’ said Susan. ‘I hold firmly to this hand, anyone’s, with love, with hatred; it does not matter which.’

    ‘The still mood, the disembodied mood is on us,’ said Rhoda, ‘and we enjoy this momentary alleviation (it is not often that one has no anxiety) when the walls of the mind become transparent. Wren’s palace, like the quartet played to the dry and stranded people in the stalls, makes an oblong. A square is stood upon the oblong and we say, “This is our dwelling-place. The structure is now visible. Very little is left outside.”’

    ‘The flower,’ said Bernard, ‘the red carnation that stood in the vase on the table of the restaurant when we dined together with Percival, is become a six-sided flower; made of six lives.’

    ‘A mysterious illumination,’ said Louis, ‘visible against those yew trees.’

    ‘Built up with much pain, many strokes,’ said Jinny.

    ‘Marriage, death, travel, friendship,’ said Bernard; ‘town and country; children and all that; a many-sided substance cut out of this dark; a many-faceted flower. Let us stop for a moment; let us behold what we have made. Let it blaze against the yew trees. One life. There. It is over. Gone out.’

    ‘Now they vanish,’ said Louis. ‘Susan with Bernard. Neville with Jinny. You and I, Rhoda, stop for a moment by this stone urn. What song shall we hear now that these couples have sought the groves, and Jinny, pointing with her gloved hand, pretends to notice the water-lilies, and Susan, who has always loved Bernard, says to him, “My ruined life, my wasted life.” And Neville, taking Jinny’s little hand, with the cherry-coloured finger-nails, by the lake, by the moonlit water, cries, “Love, love,” and she answers, imitating the bird, “Love, love?” What song do we hear?’

    ‘They vanish, towards the lake,’ said Rhoda. ‘They slink away over the grass furtively, yet with assurance as if they asked of our pity their ancient privilege — not to be disturbed. The tide in the soul, tipped, flows that way; they cannot help deserting us. The dark has closed over their bodies. What song do we hear — the owl’s, the nightingale’s, the wren’s? The steamer hoots; the light on the electric rails flashes; the trees gravely bow and bend. The flare hangs over London. Here is an old woman, quietly returning, and a man, a late fisherman, comes down the terrace with his rod. Not a sound, not a movement must escape us.’

    ‘A bird flies homeward,’ said Louis. ‘Evening opens her eyes and gives one quick glance among the bushes before she sleeps. How shall we put it together, the confused and composite message that they send back to us, and not they only, but many dead, boys and girls, grown men and women, who have wandered here, under one king or another?’

    ‘A weight has dropped into the night,’ said Rhoda, ‘dragging it down. Every tree is big with a shadow that is not the shadow of the tree behind it. We hear a drumming on the roofs of a fasting city when the Turks are hungry and uncertain tempered. We hear them crying with sharp, stag-like barks, “Open, open.” Listen to the trams squealing and to the flashes from the electric rails. We hear the beech trees and the birch trees raise their branches as if the bride had let her silken nightdress fall and come to the doorway saying “Open, open”.’

    ‘All seems alive,’ said Louis. ‘I cannot hear death anywhere tonight. Stupidity, on that man’s face, age, on that woman’s, would be strong enough, one would think, to resist the incantation, and bring in death. But where is death tonight? All the crudity, odds and ends, this and that, have been crushed like glass splinters into the blue, the red-fringed tide, which, drawing into the shore, fertile with innumerable fish, breaks at our feet.’

    ‘If we could mount together, if we could perceive from a sufficient height,’ said Rhoda, ‘if we could remain untouched without any support — but you, disturbed by faint clapping sounds of praise and laughter, and I, resenting compromise and right and wrong on human lips, trust only in solitude and the violence of death and thus are divided.’

    ‘For ever,’ said Louis, ‘divided. We have sacrificed the embrace among the ferns, and love, love, love by the lake, standing, like conspirators who have drawn apart to share some secret, by the urn. But now look, as we stand here, a ripple breaks on the horizon. The net is raised higher and higher. It comes to the top of the water. The water is broken by silver, by quivering little fish. Now leaping, now lashing, they are laid on shore. Life tumbles its catch upon the grass. There are figures coming towards us. Are they men or are they women? They still wear the ambiguous draperies of the flowing tide in which they have been immersed.’

    ‘Now,’ said Rhoda, ‘as they pass that tree, they regain their natural size. They are only men, only women. Wonder and awe change as they put off the draperies of the flowing tide. Pity returns, as they emerge into the moonlight, like the relics of an army, our representatives, going every night (here or in Greece) to battle, and coming back every night with their wounds, their ravaged faces. Now light falls on them again. They have faces. They become Susan and Bernard, Jinny and Neville, people we know. Now what a shrinkage takes place! Now what a shrivelling, what an humiliation! The old shivers run through me, hatred and terror, as I feel myself grappled to one spot by these hooks they cast on us; these greetings, recognitions, pluckings of the finger and searchings of the eyes. Yet they have only to speak, and their first words, with the remembered tone and the perpetual deviation from what one expects, and their hands moving and making a thousand past days rise again in the darkness, shake my purpose.’

    ‘Something flickers and dances,’ said Louis. ‘Illusion returns as they approach down the avenue. Rippling and questioning begin. What do I think of you — what do you think of me? Who are you? Who am I? — that quivers again its uneasy air over us, and the pulse quickens and the eye brightens and all the insanity of personal existence without which life would fall flat and die, begins again. They are on us. The southern sun flickers over this urn; we push off in to the tide of the violent and cruel sea. Lord help us to act our parts as we greet them returning — Susan and Bernard, Neville and Jinny.’

    ‘We have destroyed something by our presence,’ said Bernard, ‘a world perhaps.’

    ‘Yet we scarcely breathe,’ said Neville, ‘spent as we are. We are in that passive and exhausted frame of mind when we only wish to rejoin the body of our mother from whom we have been severed. All else is distasteful, forced and fatiguing. Jinny’s yellow scarf is moth-coloured in this light; Susan’s eyes are quenched. We are scarcely to be distinguished from the river. One cigarette end is the only point of emphasis among us. And sadness tinges our content, that we should have left you, torn the fabric; yielded to the desire to press out, alone, some bitterer, some blacker juice, which was sweet too. But now we are worn out.’

    ‘After our fire,’ said Jinny, ‘there is nothing left to put in lockets.’

    ‘Still I gape,’ said Susan, ‘like a young bird, unsatisfied, for something that has escaped me.’

    ‘Let us stay for a moment,’ said Bernard, ‘before we go. Let us pace the terrace by the river almost alone. It is nearly bed-time. People have gone home. Now how comforting it is to watch the lights coming out in the bedrooms of small shopkeepers on the other side of the river. There is one — there is another. What do you think their takings have been today? Only just enough to pay for the rent, for light and food and the children’s clothing. But just enough. What a sense of the tolerableness of life the lights in the bedrooms of small shopkeepers give us! Saturday comes, and there is just enough to pay perhaps for seats at the Pictures. Perhaps before they put out the light they go into the little garden and look at the giant rabbit couched in its wooden hut. That is the rabbit they will have for Sunday dinner. Then they put out the light. Then they sleep. And for thousands of people sleep is nothing but warmth and silence and one moment’s sport with some fantastic dream. “I have posted my letter,” the greengrocer thinks, “to the Sunday newspaper. Suppose I win five hundred pounds in the football competition? And we shall kill the rabbit. Life is pleasant. Life is good. I have posted the letter. We shall kill the rabbit.” And he sleeps.

    ‘That goes on. Listen. There is a sound like the knocking of railway trucks in a siding. That is the happy concatenation of one event following another in our lives. Knock, knock, knock. Must, must, must. Must go, must sleep, must wake, must get up — sober, merciful word which we pretend to revile, which we press tight to our hearts, without which we should be undone. How we worship that sound like the knocking together of trucks in a siding!

    ‘Now far off down the river I hear the chorus; the song of the boasting boys, who are coming back in large charabancs from a day’s outing on the decks of crowded steamers. Still they are singing as they used to sing, across the court, on winters’ nights, or with the windows open in summer, getting drunk, breaking the furniture, wearing little striped caps, all turning their heads the same way as the brake rounded the corner; and I wished to be with them.

    ‘What with the chorus, and the spinning water and the just perceptible murmur of the breeze we are slipping away. Little bits of ourselves are crumbling. There! Something very important fell then. I cannot keep myself together. I shall sleep. But we must go; must catch our train; must walk back to the station — must, must, must. We are only bodies jogging along side by side. I exist only in the soles of my feet and in the tired muscles of my thighs. We have been walking for hours it seems. But where? I cannot remember. I am like a log slipping smoothly over some waterfall. I am not a judge. I am not called upon to give my opinion. Houses and trees are all the same in this grey light. Is that a post? Is that a woman walking? Here is the station, and if the train were to cut me in two, I should come together on the further side, being one, being indivisible. But what is odd is that I still clasp the return half of my ticket to Waterloo firmly between the fingers of my right hand, even now, even sleeping.’
    The Waves by Virginia Woolf

  23. #463
    Adam Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    TIM
    ENTJ-1Te 8w7 sx/so
    Posts
    6,883
    Mentioned
    797 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    “He went like that,” Spade said, “like a fist when you open your hand.”

    The Flitcraft Parable - Dashiel Hammett

  24. #464
    ТРВЕ КВЛТ xXdedXx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Hell
    TIM
    IEI 4w5 sx/sp
    Posts
    1,389
    Mentioned
    55 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    "There is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there. It is hard for me to make sense on any given level. Myself is fabricated, an aberration. I am a noncontingent human being. My personality is sketchy and unformed, my heartlessness goes deep and is persistent. My conscience, my pity, my hopes disappeared a long time ago, if they ever did exist. There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed."

  25. #465
    Queen of the Damned Aylen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Spiritus Mundi
    TIM
    psyche 4w5 sx/sp
    Posts
    11,281
    Mentioned
    950 Post(s)
    Tagged
    42 Thread(s)

    Default

    If I can be called a poet that would be
    through the virtue that I carry it into my daily
    life; when I am most poetical, I know I believe
    that poetry will least betray itself. When I am
    most conventional, I feel I am most eccentric,
    therefore finer and far truer.

    To express my vehemence I always use
    the language of silence, that is the best,
    strongest when crushing rivalry; in silence,
    when I am best and strong, I can be renais-
    sance itself, and will create a peculiar tone and
    shade, let me dare say, the beauty of nuance.

    If I look modern, it is because I am human.
    If I am inarticulate in song, that is because
    my heart is too full.

    While I admire your brains, let me say that
    you are a little crude and flat; isn't there any
    way for you to forget your reaching the same
    old conclusions? Although I may appear to
    you alien, exotic, subtle, mysterious, often
    baffling, I do not mean to become different from
    you; and I always deny when people say that
    my being here is rather a sacrifice and incongruity.
    My thought is only to become like yourself;
    if there is anything between you and me,
    it might be that I hope to grow plainer.
    Do you call that eccentricity?

    I am in truth a spiritual exile, not because
    I have no friend, but because I lost somewhere
    a tradition and environment to which I think I
    should belong. And I hear the voice calling
    from a hidden world where more than one
    moon ever shine; alas, I do not know how to
    come there.

    -- Yone Noguchi, Through the Torii

    “My typology is . . . not in any sense to stick labels on people at first sight. It is not a physiognomy and not an anthropological system, but a critical psychology dealing with the organization and delimitation of psychic processes that can be shown to be typical.”​ —C.G. Jung

     



  26. #466
    Liberté coeruleum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Akliash
    TIM
    Dragon
    Posts
    3,284
    Mentioned
    63 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default



    Ah, unsubtle Nietzsche fanboying, a necessity in bad fantasy novels.

  27. #467
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    TIM
    Enlightened
    Posts
    16,739
    Mentioned
    331 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)

    Default

    Craig bases his claim that time began with the big bang on the notion that the universe began as singularity-an infinitesimal region in space in which the mass and energy densities are infinite. This was believed to be the case. In 1970 cosmologist Stephen Hawking and mathematician Roger Penrose used Einstein's general theory of relativity to "prove" that our universe began with a singularity.?

    However, over twenty years ago Hawking and Penrose realized that no such singularity marked the beginning of our universe. Indeed, Hawking explicitly says so in his phenomenal 1988 best seller, A Brief History of Time.8 The original proof of Hawking and Penrose was not in error as far as it went. General relativity does imply the singularity. However, the authors now admit that because of quantum mechanics, general relativity does not apply below a minimum distance equal to the Planck length and below a minimum time interval equal to the Planck time. In fact, as I argued above, these are the smallest definable time and distance intervals so the universe could never have been an infinitesimal point. In short, time (or space) need not have begun with the big bang. As we will see in chapter 16, modern cosmological scenarios call for a universe prior to ours and, very likely, many more as well.

    So, the universe need not have had a beginning, refitting Craig's Kalam argument. But even if there was a beginning, it need not have had a cause. In his book, D'Souza ridicules me for making such a suggestion: "Physicist Victor Stenger says the universe may be `uncaused' and may have `emerged from nothing.' He quotes philosopher David Hume as saying, `I have never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might rise without cause."'

    Well, Hume can be excused for not knowing about quantum mechanics. But D'Souza has no excuse for either not knowing or deliberately hiding the fact that quantum phenomena such as atomic transitions and nuclear disintegrations occur spontaneously without cause. Similarly, Craig has no excuse for continuing to use the singularity claim two decades after it was withdrawn by its authors.°


    THE WAVE FUNCTION OF THE UNIVERSE

    In 1983 James Hartle and Stephen Hawking proposed what they called the "no boundary" model of the origin of the universe.9 Following a review by David Atkatz,10 I have worked a version of this model out with complete mathematical rigor, although I managed, with some simplifications, to do this at about the level of a senior physics or mathematics major at an American university. The details can be found in my book The Comprehensible Cosmos11 and in my article in the philosophical journal Philo, available online.12 Let me just summarize the procedure, which I hope will sufficiently convince those theists who have expressed skepticism and even ridiculed the notion.13 Hartle, Hawking, and I are not just waving our arms but have a frilly developed mathematical and physical proposal for how the universe can have come about naturally.

    Start with the conventional equation derived from general relativity called the Friedmann equation, which describes the evolution of a spherically symmetric universe. Assume the universe is empty, that is, has no matter, but still contains the energy stored in the curvature of space that Einstein associated with what he called the cosmological constant. Apply the standard "quantization" technique used in quantum mechanics to go from a classical equation to a quantum one. The result is an equation that allows you to calculate a wave function that describes the state of the universe. Since the universe is empty and spherically symmetrical, the only variable is its radius.

    This equation is a simplified version of what is called the Wheeler DeWitt equation. Its form is mathematically identical to the nonrelativistic, time-independent, one-dimensional Schrodinger equation for a particle in a potential field familiar from elementary quantum theory. The particle has half the Planck mass,14 zero total energy, and a specific potential energy that is defined in the book and the article. This does not mean the universe is a particle of half the Planck mass, just that its wave function is mathematically equivalent to that of this particle.

    Hartle and Hawking, and others who have played this game, call this the wave function of the universe. Their particular solution is shown in figure 16.2. When the radius of the universe is greater than a certain fixed value, the wave function oscillates like a real particle, just like the particle outside the barrier in figure 16.1. This gives the exponential inflation that, according to modern cosmology, takes place during the first tiny fraction of a second before the conventional big bang. When the radius is less than this value, the wave function of the universe is in a nonphysical region analogous to the region inside the barrier in figure 16.1. Only now, time is represented by an imaginary number.

    The Hartle-Hawking model of the natural origin of our universe describes a larger universe that has no beginning or end of time. This is consistent with our discussion of time in chapter 5. Out of the limitless past in the time before our big bang, assuming the arrow of time for our universe, this prior universe deflates to the point where it becomes unphysical and time is imaginary. Its wave function then tunnels through the unphysical region and our universe appears on the other side.

    Note, however, the entropy in the "prior" universe increases in the opposite direction to ours; thus, the arrow of time in that universe points the opposite way. So it is really a mirror universe to ours, though not an exact image because of randomness. Both universes can be seen as emerging from the same chaos, one expanding in one time direction and the other expanding in the opposite direction. They both have a beginning after all! But it is still a causeless beginning.

    Of course, talking about time having two directions throws most theologians into a tizzy. All theological discussions about creation assume an absolute direction of time and causality that is fundamentally wrong.

    Alexander Vilenkin has proposed an alternate scenario in which no prior universe exists, but our universe simply tunnels one way out of chaos.15 The same mathematical procedure applies in this case.
    Quantum Gods Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness by Victor J. Stenger

  28. #468
    Adam Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    TIM
    ENTJ-1Te 8w7 sx/so
    Posts
    6,883
    Mentioned
    797 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    Knowing C'mell had been adventure incarnate. She had led him to things which he had not even imagined, including a knowledge of himself and of others. He had been places in the wet rich air of Earth, on the old streets and the complex cities, which no Norstrilian at home would ever believe; he had faced dangers, and now Rod knew that his time was drawing to a close. At last she was asking something of him and he could not refuse. All the time he had known her—days which seemed as long and busy as years—she had been giving: of herself, her time, the risk of her life. Now, for the first time, it was she who asked. He could not refuse.

    He went with her down to a store….
    It was called the Department Store of Hearts' Desires.

    Cordwainer Smith, The Store of Heart's Desires

  29. #469

    Default

    Quotes from: Jordan B. Peterson (2018) 12 Rules for life: An antidote to chaos. United States published by Random House Canada.

    Birds—and Territory
    [...] Chickens, like suburbanites, live communally. Songbirds, such as wrens, do not, but they still inhabit a dominance hierarchy. It’s just spread out over more territory. The wiliest, strongest, healthiest and most fortunate birds occupy prime territory, and defend it. Because of this, they are more likely to attract high-quality mates, and to hatch chicks who survive and thrive. Protection from wind, rain and predators, as well as easy access to superior food, makes for a much less stressed existence. Territory matters, and there is little difference between territorial rights and social status. It is often a matter of life and death. [...]

    If a contagious avian disease sweeps through a neighbourhood of well-stratified songbirds, it is the least dominant and most stressed birds, occupying the lowest rungs of the bird world, who are most likely to sicken and die. This is equally true of human neighbourhoods, when bird flu viruses and other illnesses sweep across the planet. The poor and stressed always die first, and in greater numbers. They are also much more susceptible to non-infectious diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. When the aristocracy catches a cold, as it is said, the working class dies of pneumonia. [...]

    Because territory matters, and because the best locales are always in short supply, territory-seeking among animals produces conflict. Conflict, in turn, produces another problem: how to win or lose without the disagreeing parties incurring too great a cost. This latter point is particularly important. Imagine that two birds engage in a squabble about a desirable nesting area. The interaction can easily degenerate into outright physical combat. Under such circumstances, one bird, usually the largest, will eventually win—but even the victor may be hurt by the fight. That means a third bird, an undamaged, canny bystander, can move in, opportunistically, and defeat the now-crippled victor. That is not at all a good deal for the first two birds. [...] (p. 3-4)


    Conflict—and Territory
    Over the millennia, animals who must co-habit with others in the same territories have in consequence learned many tricks to establish dominance, while risking the least amount of possible damage. [...] (p. 4)


    The Nature of Nature
    First, it is easy to assume that “nature” is something with a nature—something static. But it’s not: at least not in any simple sense. It’s static and dynamic, at the same time. The environment—the nature that selects—itself transforms. The famous yin and yang symbols of the Taoists capture this beautifully. Being, for the Taoists—reality itself—is composed of two opposing principles, often translated as feminine and masculine, or even more narrowly as female and male. However, yin and yang are more accurately understood as chaos and order. The Taoist symbol is a circle enclosing twin serpents, head to tail. The black serpent, chaos, has a white dot in its head. The white serpent, order, has a black dot in its head. This is because chaos and order are interchangeable, as well as eternally juxtaposed. There is nothing so certain that it cannot vary. Even the sun itself has its cycles of instability. Likewise, there is nothing so mutable that it cannot be fixed. Every revolution produces a new order. Every death is, simultaneously, a metamorphosis. [...]

    Nature is not simply dynamic, either. Some things change quickly, but they are nested within other things that change less quickly (music frequently models this, too). Leaves change more quickly than trees, and trees more quickly than forests. Weather changes faster than climate. If it wasn’t this way, then the conservatism of evolution would not work, as the basic morphology of arms and hands would have to change as fast as the length of arm bones and the function of fingers. It’s chaos, within order, within chaos, within higher order. The order that is most real is the order that is most unchanging—and that is not necessarily the order that is most easily seen. The leaf, when perceived, might blind the observer to the tree. The tree can blind him to the forest. And some things that are most real (such as the ever-present dominance hierarchy) cannot be “seen” at all. [...]

    The part of our brain that keeps track of our position in the dominance hierarchy is therefore exceptionally ancient and fundamental.17 It is a master control system, modulating our perceptions, values, emotions, thoughts and actions. It powerfully affects every aspect of our Being, conscious and unconscious alike. This is why, when we are defeated, we act very much like lobsters who have lost a fight. Our posture droops. We face the ground. We feel threatened, hurt, anxious and weak. If things do not improve, we become chronically depressed. Under such conditions, we can’t easily put up the kind of fight that life demands, and we become easy targets for harder-shelled bullies. And it is not only the behavioural and experiential similarities that are striking. Much of the basic neurochemistry is the same. [...]

    Consider serotonin, the chemical that governs posture and escape in the lobster. Low-ranking lobsters produce comparatively low levels of serotonin. This is also true of low-ranking human beings (and those low levels decrease more with each defeat). Low serotonin means decreased confidence. Low serotonin means more response to stress and costlier physical preparedness for emergency—as anything whatsoever may happen, at any time, at the bottom of the dominance hierarchy (and rarely something good). Low serotonin means less happiness, more pain and anxiety, more illness, and a shorter lifespan—among humans, just as among crustaceans. Higher spots in the dominance hierarchy, and the higher serotonin levels typical of those who inhabit them, are characterized by less illness, misery and death, even when factors such as absolute income—or number of decaying food scraps—are held constant. The importance of this can hardly be overstated. [...] (p. 11-15)


    T
    op and Bottom
    There is an unspeakably primordial calculator, deep within you, at the very foundation of your brain, far below your thoughts and feelings. It monitors exactly where you are positioned in society—on a scale of one to ten, for the sake of argument. If you’re a number one, the highest level of status, you’re an overwhelming success. If you’re male, you have preferential access to the best places to live and the highest-quality food. People compete to do you favours. You have limitless opportunity for romantic and sexual contact. You are a successful lobster, and the most desirable females line up and vie for your attention. If you’re female, you have access to many high-quality suitors: tall, strong and symmetrical; creative, reliable, honest and generous. And, like your dominant male counterpart, you will compete ferociously, even pitilessly, to maintain or improve your position in the equally competitive female mating hierarchy. Although you are less likely to use physical aggression to do so, there are many effective verbal tricks and strategies at your disposal, including the disparaging of opponents, and you may well be expert at their use.

    If you are a low-status ten, by contrast, male or female, you have nowhere to live (or nowhere good). Your food is terrible, when you’re not going hungry. You’re in poor physical and mental condition. You’re of minimal romantic interest to anyone, unless they are as desperate as you. You are more likely to fall ill, age rapidly, and die young, with few, if any, to mourn you. Even money itself may prove of little use. You won’t know how to use it, because it is difficult to use money properly, particularly if you are unfamiliar with it. Money will make you liable to the dangerous temptations of drugs and alcohol, which are much more rewarding if you have been deprived of pleasure for a long period. Money will also make you a target for predators and psychopaths, who thrive on exploiting those who exist on the lower rungs of society. The bottom of the dominance hierarchy is a terrible, dangerous place to be. [...]

    If you are judged by your peers as of little worth, the counter restricts serotonin availability. That makes you much more physically and psychologically reactive to any circumstance or event that might produce emotion, particularly if it is negative. You need that reactivity. Emergencies are common at the bottom, and you must be ready to survive. [...]

    Unfortunately, that physical hyper-response, that constant alertness, burns up a lot of precious energy and physical resources. This response is really what everyone calls stress, and it is by no means only or even primarily psychological. It’s a reflection of the genuine constraints of unfortunate circumstances. When operating at the bottom, the ancient brain counter assumes that even the smallest unexpected impediment might produce an uncontrollable chain of negative events, which will have to be handled alone, as useful friends are rare indeed, on society’s fringes. You will therefore continually sacrifice what you could otherwise physically store for the future, using it up on heightened readiness and the possibility of immediate panicked action in the present. When you don’t know what to do, you must be prepared to do anything and everything, in case it becomes necessary. You’re sitting in your car with the gas and brake pedals both punched to the mat. Too much of that and everything falls apart. The ancient counter will even shut down your immune system, expending the energy and resources required for future health now, during the crises of the present. It will render you impulsive, so that you will jump, for example, at any short-term mating opportunities, or any possibilities of pleasure, no matter how sub-par, disgraceful or illegal. It will leave you far more likely to live, or die, carelessly, for a rare opportunity at pleasure, when it manifests itself. The physical demands of emergency preparedness will wear you down in every way. [...](p. 15-17)


    Malfunction
    Sometimes, however, the counter mechanism can go wrong. Erratic habits of sleeping and eating can interfere with its function. Uncertainty can throw it for a loop. The body, with its various parts, needs to function like a well-rehearsed orchestra. Every system must play its role properly, and at exactly the right time, or noise and chaos ensue. It is for this reason that routine is so necessary. The acts of life we repeat every day need to be automatized. They must be turned into stable and reliable habits, so they lose their complexity and gain predictability and simplicity. [...]

    It is for such reasons that I always ask my clinical clients first about sleep. Do they wake up in the morning at approximately the time the typical person wakes up, and at the same time every day? If the answer is no, fixing that is the first thing I recommend. It doesn’t matter so much if they go to bed at the same time each evening, but waking up at a consistent hour is a necessity. Anxiety and depression cannot be easily treated if the sufferer has unpredictable daily routines. The systems that mediate negative emotion are tightly tied to the properly cyclical circadian rhythms. [...]

    The next thing I ask about is breakfast. I counsel my clients to eat a fat and protein-heavy breakfast as soon as possible after they awaken (no simple carbohydrates, no sugars, as they are digested too rapidly, and produce a blood-sugar spike and rapid dip). This is because anxious and depressed people are already stressed, particularly if their lives have not been under control for a good while. Their bodies are therefore primed to hypersecrete insulin, if they engage in any complex or demanding activity. If they do so after fasting all night and before eating, the excess insulin in their bloodstream will mop up all their blood sugar. Then they become hypoglycemic and psycho-physiologically unstable.22 All day. Their systems cannot be reset until after more sleep. I have had many clients whose anxiety was reduced to subclinical levels merely because they started to sleep on a predictable schedule and eat breakfast. [...] (p. 17-18)


    Rising Up
    [...] If you can bite, you generally don’t have to. When skillfully integrated, the ability to respond with aggression and violence decreases rather than increases the probability that actual aggression will become necessary. If you say no, early in the cycle of oppression, and you mean what you say (which means you state your refusal in no uncertain terms and stand behind it) then the scope for oppression on the part of oppressor will remain properly bounded and limited. The forces of tyranny expand inexorably to fill the space made available for their existence. People who refuse to muster appropriately self-protective territorial responses are laid open to exploitation as much as those who genuinely can’t stand up for their own rights because of a more essential inability or a true imbalance in power. [...]

    To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language). [...]

    So, attend carefully to your posture. Quit drooping and hunching around. Speak your mind. Put your desires forward, as if you had a right to them—at least the same right as others. Walk tall and gaze forthrightly ahead. Dare to be dangerous. Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence. [...](p. 23, 27-28)

  30. #470
    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Gamma SF
    Posts
    14,901
    Mentioned
    825 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)

    Default

    I'm reading a book about the mind body connection.


  31. #471
    thework.com Kalinoche the Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    currently belgium
    Posts
    3,286
    Mentioned
    202 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ashlesha View Post
    I'm reading a book about the mind body connection.

    sounds like joe dispenza?
    honest labor needs no master

    Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.

    Επί πάντων μέμνησο τα έσχατά σου, και ου μη αμαρτήσης

  32. #472
    Socionics is a spook ashlesha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    TIM
    Gamma SF
    Posts
    14,901
    Mentioned
    825 Post(s)
    Tagged
    4 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalinoche the Child View Post
    sounds like joe dispenza?
    It's some dr called elliot dacher. Had 0 goodreads reviews.

  33. #473
    thework.com Kalinoche the Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    currently belgium
    Posts
    3,286
    Mentioned
    202 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    The original word sin means to miss. It doesn’t mean to commit something wrong; it simply means to miss, to be absent. The Hebrew root for the word sin means to miss. That exists in a few English words: misconduct, misbehavior. To miss means not to be there, doing something without being present there — this is the only sin.

    ....

    If you are alert, many things simply drop; you need not drop them. In awareness certain things are not possible. And this is my definition, there is no other criterion. You cannot fall in love if you are aware; then falling in love is a sin. You can love but it will not be like a fall, it will be like a rise.


    https://o-meditation.com/category/osho/on-heraclitus/
    honest labor needs no master

    Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.

    Επί πάντων μέμνησο τα έσχατά σου, και ου μη αμαρτήσης

  34. #474
    Adam Strange's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    TIM
    ENTJ-1Te 8w7 sx/so
    Posts
    6,883
    Mentioned
    797 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalinoche the Child View Post
    The original word sin means to miss. It doesn’t mean to commit something wrong; it simply means to miss, to be absent. The Hebrew root for the word sin means to miss. That exists in a few English words: misconduct, misbehavior. To miss means not to be there, doing something without being present there — this is the only sin.

    ....

    If you are alert, many things simply drop; you need not drop them. In awareness certain things are not possible. And this is my definition, there is no other criterion. You cannot fall in love if you are aware; then falling in love is a sin. You can love but it will not be like a fall, it will be like a rise.


    https://o-meditation.com/category/osho/on-heraclitus/
    The writer in the link seems to be advocating a philosophy of “desire nothing”. I don’t think I agree with that. But perhaps I am unenlightened.

    My own experience in relationships is mixed, with respect to desire and attention. My ex-wife and I made a decision to live together so we had each other’s attention every day. We loved each other but desire for each other was low.

    My last GF and I did not live together. We loved each other and desire was high, but we found it difficult to give each other the attention the other person deserved. The two cases are different; each specific to each one’s circumstances. The amount of attention I gave each woman depended strongly on where I happened to be. The desire depended on her Erotic Attitude. (It faded with Caregiver-Victim, and just got stronger with Aggressor-Victim). My love in both cases was a decision I made and stayed constant in both cases.

    Life is full, we have to either consciously make time for each other, or we can arrange our lives so that we pay attention to each other through default circumstances.


    This is just common sense. Try to apply the writer’s philosophy to running a business. A philosophy of “Desire nothing” will get you a failed business. On the matter of attention, I tried to run a business where the principals lived hundreds of miles apart, and ithe business did not get the attention it needed and it failed.

    Additionally, I have a side business with an Extinguishment partner and it is seriously not going well, despite our best intentions and close physical proximity. So it takes both attention through habit and proximity, and inherent compatibility, to succeed.
    Last edited by Adam Strange; 02-24-2020 at 12:38 PM.

  35. #475
    thework.com Kalinoche the Child's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    currently belgium
    Posts
    3,286
    Mentioned
    202 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Hi
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    The writer in the link seems to be advocating a philosophy of “desire nothing”. I don’t think I agree with that. But perhaps I am unenlightened.

    My own experience in relationships is mixed, with respect to desire and attention. My ex-wife and I made a decision to live together so we had each other’s attention every day. We loved each other but desire for each other was low.

    My last GF and I did not live together. We loved each other and desire was high, but we found it difficult to give each other the attention the other person deserved. The two cases are different; each specific to each one’s circumstances. The amount of attention I gave each woman depended strongly on where I happened to be. The desire depended on her Erotic Attitude. (It faded with Caregiver-Victim, and just got stronger with Aggressor-Victim). My love in both cases was a decision I made and stayed constant in both cases.

    Life is full, we have to either consciously make time for each other, or we can arrange our lives so that we pay attention to each other through default circumstances.


    This is just common sense. Try to apply the writer’s philosophy to running a business. A philosophy of “Desire nothing” will get you a failed business. On the matter of attention, I tried to run a business where the principals lived hundreds of miles apart, and ithe business did not get the attention it needed and it failed.

    Additionally, I have a side business with an Extinguishment partner and it is seriously not going well, despite our best intentions and close physical proximity. So it takes both attention through habit and proximity, and inherent compatibility, to succeed.
    I see where you are coming from. I am not done reading it and so far indeed there is no mention of ‘desire nothing’. In any case, when one pursues awareness in this sense, what we call desire is broken down to its components. In that sense, it can also be that a business can succeed without you necessarily ‘wanting’ it to succeed (in a certain way).
    honest labor needs no master

    Nothing good is a miracle, nothing lovely is a dream.

    Επί πάντων μέμνησο τα έσχατά σου, και ου μη αμαρτήσης

  36. #476
    FreelancePoliceman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Maizistan
    TIM
    LII
    Posts
    920
    Mentioned
    75 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Default

    Continue to act thus, my dear Lucilius – set yourself free for your own sake; gather and save your time, which till lately has been forced from you, or filched away, or has merely slipped from your hands. Make yourself believe the truth of my words, – that certain moments are torn from us, that some are gently removed, and that others glide beyond our reach. The most disgraceful kind of loss, however, is that due to carelessness. Furthermore, if you will pay close heed to the problem, you will find that the largest portion of our life passes while we are doing ill, a goodly share while we are doing nothing, and the whole while we are doing that which is not to the purpose. What man can you show me who places any value on his time, who reckons the worth of each day, who understands that he is dying daily? For we are mistaken when we look forward to death; the major portion of death has already passed. Whatever years lie behind us are in death's hands.
    As a goatherd learns his trade by goat, so a writer learns his trade by wrote.

Page 12 of 12 FirstFirst ... 289101112

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •